The FDA has granted a license to the maker of laViv which is said to improve the appearance of smile lines without freezing the muscles of your face. Have you heard of this new drug? Does it work like it claims? Are there any side effects that are worrisome?
As we have discussed before, FDA approval is not a stamp of approval that a drug is effective. It just means that as far as current studies show, it is not harmful. Some drugs are FDA approved for years until later the FDA reconsiders and removes them from the market. Look at the relatively recent removal of Darvocet from the market after many years of FDA approval.
LaViv is an interesting concept. Fibroblast removal and amplification in a test tube followed by re-injection into a patient is a neat experiment.
Am I going to be involved anytime soon? No.
My practice motto is: “Safe Orange County Plastic Surgery.” I endeavor to keep things as risk free as I can. Reliability and safety are important.
That means that I don’t try every new thing that comes down the line because I know some of it is going to turn out badly. There are a number of ways theoretically that amplified fibroblasts might go wrong. Fibroblasts are the precursors of scar tissue. The formation of scar tissue is not always a good thing. Fibroblasts amplified by growth factors might also potentially turn into cancer. All because there is no evidence that this has happened yet, doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen later. FDA approval will add more numbers to the experiment as new people try this stuff out. That is good for the experiment, but I do not experiment on my patients.
I will sit on the fence and wait before adding anything like this into my practice. My patients expect no less. That is why many choose my practice in the first place.
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*